#NewMusicFriday: March 22nd 2024

#NewMusicFriday March 22nd

I’ll admit that it can be pretty difficult writing these introductions week after week, especially when they’re (questionably) very little to shout about. However, you can only do with what you get given. But don’t fret, this week’s #NewMusicFriday isn’t a complete write-off.

For starters, there’s ‘Ceremonia’, the impressive new record from post-rockers turned grungy alt-rock noise makers Blanket. Their third full-length sees the North West quartet thrive off a wall of distortion, yet retain the mellow elegance of past releases. Whereas shoegaze specialist Newmoon, also drop their third album (‘Temporary Light’). You can read my thoughts on both of these releases below.

Other notable releases out today include The Gaslight Anthem sharing some ‘Short Stories’ to accompany last year’s History Books’ album. Heavy as f*ck specialist Mastiff delivers their latest intense opus in the form of ‘Deprecipice’. Slacker pop-rock songstress Lauran Hibberd releases her sophomore effort, ‘Girlfriend Material’. While Lil Lotus puts out a deluxe edition of ‘Nosebleeder’, less than six months on from its initial relaese.

As for up-and-coming names, anthemic synth-rockers Crushed By Waves look to leave their mark with their debut album – ‘More To Life’. Whereas Avralize shows why Germany continues to thrive in the modern metalcore scene, although their first full-length, ‘Freaks’, treads in all too familiar territory.

If you’re looking for a darker take on metalcore, there’s ‘Hollywood Suicide’ from fellow Germans GHØSTKID. Fronted by Sebastian “Sushi” Biesler (ex-Electric Callboy), the album takes a conceptual route as an artist changes Stateside success yet gets caught up in the sacrifices you have to make.

Finally, there are new releases from The K’s, Artificial Language, standards, Rory Ryan, and more.


Blanket – Ceremonia

If you’re like me, then you’ll remember Blanket for their atmospheric brand of cinematic post-rock. Yet the band that you hear on ‘Ceremonia’ isn’t a complete stylistic 180°. 2021’s ‘Modern Escapism’ allowed them to evolve into shoegaze territory organically. ‘Ceremonia’ sees Blanket sonically explode, cranking up the guitars, with songs drenched (mostly) in urgency.

Going into the making of the album, the band aimed to sound like an indie band but louder. It’s safe to say off the back of tracks such as ‘Nuclear Boy Scout’ and ‘Kaleidoscope’Blanket have certainly achieved what they set out to do. On the former, guitars whirl away as Bobby Hook’s melodic words provide a hypnotic contrast. While Aiden Baldwin (drums) and Matthew Sheldon (bass) provide the track’s heavy spine. ‘Kaleidoscope’ neatly combines striking distortion with a subtly swirling atmosphere. Its execution is brash, colourful, and addictive.

However, as you’re riding a euphoric high, ‘Sea of Bliss (reprise)’ momentarily brings you back down with a raw, piano-led interlude, teasing you for what’s to come later on. With that being ‘Sea of Bliss’ itself. Shimmering with a cinematic quality, it dives into a soaring pool of post-rock that truly sounds massive.

Throughout ‘Ceremonia’, there are examples of Blanket‘s versatility. Whether that that be on how ‘Porcelain’ beautifully sinks into serene shoegaze territory with glistening guitars, before giving way to swirling grunge and a bouncing melody. Or how ‘Loom’ captures Blanket at their most ferocious, producing an explosive wall of noise as Hook’s screams segue into screeching guitars. Yet it’s shrouded in a shoegaze skin that draws you in through its subtle dynamism. While its title track is an unrelenting blast of grunge rock.

Later on, ‘The Lucky Ones’ is another example of Blanket pairing BritPop melodies with alt-rock guitars. Musically dense, it’s complemented by dreamy melodies. Whereas the penultimate track, ‘Euphoria’ rides on a rigid bass line before an emotive chorus, reminiscent of Northern Ireland trio Ash, shines through. ‘Final Call’ is ideally cold, brooding away as it intensely draws you in as Blanket‘s layered instrumentation swells in and out.

Considerably, ‘Ceremonia’ is the most cohesive full-length Blanket have put out to date. It’s anchored by a lyrically emotional weight that’s clouded in distortion and wistful melodies. When it’s all tied together, you realise the North West four-piece has delivered an album that is hard to ignore. Sure, there are plenty of others utilising the shoegaze/grunge style right now, but very few, if any, sound as accomplished as Blanket.


Newmoon – Temporary Light

For Belgian outfit Newmoon, creating atmosphere is the name of the game. ‘Temporary Light’, their third full-length, embarks on winning listeners with an ethereal mix of post-rock and shoegaze.

Having been on the receiving end of comparisons to the influential Slowdive one too many times, ‘Temporary Light’ sees the Antwerp band do their best to step away from said comparisons. Previous “Song of the Day” pick‘Crazing’, exemplifies Newmoon‘s layered tendencies with nuanced heavy flashes. Likewise, ‘Sense of Longing’ opens with a burst of urgency before settling into atmospheric vocals and dynamic percussion with ringing guitars.

Nonetheless, Newmoon are a shoegaze band. You just have to hear the opening pairing of ‘Eternal Fall’ and ‘Still’ to hear how comfortable they are being drenched in FX pedals etc. This isn’t a criticism on what Newmoon do, as the glacial ‘Through The Glass’ shows, they’ve executed it to near perfection. The latter is an album highlight due to its steady tempo, and their ability to combine it with post-rock guitars and Bert Cannaerts’ distant vocals.

Sure, a little variation would be welcomed yet as ‘Fading Phase’ and ‘Luminal People’ demonstrate, Newmoon tend to draw you in through their dreamy soundscapes. It’s a formula that works, and when provided with some patience, sounds rewarding.

What is out on #NewMusicFriday?

Blanket – Ceremonia
The Gaslight Anthem – History Books – Short Stories
Mastiff – Deprecipice
Newmoon – Temporary Light
Lil Lotus – nosebleeder (Deluxe)
Lauran Hibberd – Girlfriend Material
Crushed By Waves – More To Life
Avralize – Freaks
GHØSTKID – Hollywood Suicide
The K’s – I Wonder If The World Knows
Blossom – Florecer
Carpool – My Life In Subtitles
Artificial Language – Distant Glow
standards – Fruit Galaxy
Rory Ryan – When You’re Alone, How Does It Feel?
Chin Up, Kid – Blackheart Social
SNUFF – Off On The Charabanc
Ashen Reach – The Fear
Hideous Divinity – Unextinct
Perpetua – Resurgence
Spaced – This Is All We Ever Get
Ashen Reach – The Fear

If you think I’ve missed something or have a new album/EP/song to tell us about, tell us about it here.

If you’re looking for the latest tracks focusing on rock, punk, hardcore, metal, emo, and everything in between, then check out our ‘Newish Music’ playlist on Spotify or Apple Music.


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